Mystery mystery in the bowl- Bark Simi Teh?

After my last post half a year ago here on a green soup made of 15 ingredients, of which I can’t even remember, I am back with another concoction  This time round, a dark coloured soup , of which I have difficulty describing the colour because I am colour blind (certified true), commonly known as Bak Kut Teh. No, I didn’t use pre-mix but with ingredients found here in Bristol, UK. I am not proud of it, and won’t claim that it is really authentic, but it just might help you relieve your cravings for it. Because I tend to experiment with the ingredients that I have instead of using a recipe, it was really through trial and error that I found the way to make the soup. Since you may prefer different taste to it, the following is just a rough guide. Take it with a pinch of salt because my culinary skills are not on par with the other trolls.

Guide to so-called Baaaa Kut Teh:

Ingredients: Baaaa Baaa black sheep – just kidding.

To be continued… (gotta do my readings now…)

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Since the rest of the bloggers are away from Bristol, and it has been close to 2 months since I wrote the above, it is now time for me to update this – not least because I have to take my mind off work and a photoshoot of which I am involved in. So, here you go:

Ingredients:

  • Fennel Seed
  • Cloves
  • Star Anise
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • Peppercorn (white)
  • 3-4 bulbs of Garlic
  • 1 Packet of Pork Ribs from Sainsbury (I also used 1 pork shoulder joint for more meat because the Sainsbury Basics pork shoulder joint is cheaper than the pork ribs) They should weigh about 1.5kg – 2kg in total.
  • Dark Soy Sauce
  • (I couldn’t get my hands on dang gui but you can try putting them in if you can for the tinge of bitter taste if you fancy)

Steps:

  1. If you can get your hands on an empty teabag (a friend got them from Daiso back in Singapore for me over the Christmas break), you can try packing the fennel seed, star anise, cloves and cinnamon stick into it so that they won’t be drifting around in the soup afterwards. For 6 servings I put about 8 -10 star anise, 2 tablespoon of fennel seed, 2 tablespoon of cloves, 2-3 cinnamon sticks (break them into smaller pieces), 2 tablespoon of peppercorn (you can always add ground pepper to taste if it is not sufficient enough). These proportion can be varied to taste. 
  2. Cut the pork shoulder joint and the ribs to the size you want and then blanch them.
  3. Fill the pot you are using with warm (not hot) water for the broth and then add all the ingredients in. I don’t use hot water because it tends to harden the meat.
  4. Use low heat and leave the pot over the heat for 1.5 – 2hr (depending on your patience). Check periodically to ensure that it does not overflow. After the said duration, taste the soup if it is to your liking. If the taste is still not strong enough, turn up the heat to boil it for 15-30mins so that the taste of the herbs will be stronger. Should have you unfortunately added too much water, well, I am afraid the solution is to add more pepper/salt…to avoid such a situation, I measure the amount of water using a standard of 1 bowl per serving.
  5. Add dark soy sauce to your desired taste. I prefer it with stronger-herb taste so I tend to add lesser dark soy sauce.
  6. By now you should realise how unauthentic the cooking method is. But well, it suffices for now. Here’s the end result.

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